Metal nanomaterials have a wide range of applications in biological labeling, drug delivery, diagnosis, imaging, probe detection, gene insertion, implant production and tissue engineering. Among the variety of metal nanoparticles, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) play a crucial role in biological, pharmaceutical, and biomedical fields, due to their unique size, physicochemical properties, and antimicrobial activity.
Silver nanoparticles are used as antimicrobial agents in nanomedicine, coatings for industrial and surgical equipment and medical devices, as well as in the manufacture of surgical masks, wound dressings, and other textile fabrics. The main possible mechanisms of the antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles include the formation of free radicals as a result of redox reactions, the adhesion of silver nanoparticles to bacterial cell membranes for destabilizing them, the insertion of silver nanoparticles between DNA bases for inhibiting DNA replication and transcription, and the destabilization of ribosomes. Silver nanoparticles are effective at low concentrations against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and are not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, including human erythrocytes. Due to the slow and controlled release of silver ions from the nanoparticle, silver nanoparticles display a prolonged antibacterial effect. Compared with antibiotics, silver nanoparticles pose lower risk of bacterial resistance development. Silver nanoparticles are more effective when combined with popular antibiotics such as kanamycin, tetracycline, enoxacin, and amoxicillin.
Silver nanoparticles have emerged as potential antifungal agents, because they cause the formation of insoluble compounds with the thiol groups of the cysteine protein in fungal cells, the destruction of membrane-binding enzymes and lipids that cause cell lysis. In addition, silver nanoparticles induce the formation of hydroxyl radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which prevent DNA replication and ATP synthesis in fungal cells.
Now the uses of silver nanoparticles have diversified, including many new physical, chemical, and biological ones. Silver nanoparticles-based conductive inks are widely used in electronic applications because of their high electrical conductivity. Silver nanoparticles with remarkable light absorption and scattering properties are utilized in biomedical labeling and imaging applications such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and surface enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, silver nanoparticles show better sensing performance than other metal nanoparticles and have been widely investigated as gas sensors.
Amerigo Scientific offers environmentally friendly, low-toxicity, high-quality silver nanoparticle-based solutions for a variety of applications in biological, pharmaceutical, and biomedical fields.
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